Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nerf Dart Tag Snapfire 8: Click Click Ow


New blasters for all of Nerf's lines were announced early this year- A new 'Hailfire' to helm the N-Strike Elite, the all mighty Pyragon was the new Vortex blaster, and the Dart Tag line received the Snapfire 8 to its ranks. 

The Snapfire 8 has generated quite a bit of interest since it's announcement being a rather compact non-motorised-yet-semi-autofire blaster and to date has only really been seen in Singapore (do correct me if I'm wrong) Thanks to Ben 'Psyk' Koh of Nerf SG, we got our hands on one (ok two- I always order multiples) to put it to the test and see if it's all that it's cracked out to be...


The Snapfire 8 comes in a pretty small lightweight compact box- which makes sense given it's a pretty small lightweight compact blaster:) Standard Dart Tag branding all over the box with the dude in the official dart tag jersey and eyewear is pretty normal for the current Nerf Dart Tag series of gear.



Inside the box, it's the blaster, 8 dart tag darts and a manual. It's pretty easy to get out of the box too which is nice.


The Snapfire 8 follows similar design cues to the big daddy Swarmfire in that it's got that big whale looking front but then sort of slims out at the back, with a rather aggressive cut out part for your thumb that makes it sort of resemble those old Star Trek phasers. 


It's quite comfortable to hold, and has a very long grip for big hands. I don't have big hands, but that's ok:D  It's a lot smaller than I thought it'd be, but the fatness of the muzzle makes it impossible to easily holster/pocket, but there's no loops anywhere to clip it to your belt or anything.


It's shape actually looks almost... comical, like a Marvin the Martian style blaster; whereas Nerf's other lines seem to be looking quite tough and realistic in design, the Dart Tag blasters seem to really be wanting to go a different route, similar to sporting equipment, which is true to its general marketing message of Dart Tag being a new "action sport".





The Snapfire 8 holds that many darts- eight- and they slide in similarly to the Speed Swarm and Swarmfire at the front. I've heard rumours of the darts falling out, but this hasn't happened to be yet- they're quite a snug fit and I've tried them with Elite darts with no problems.



The Snapfire 8's selling point is it's a non battery powered semi automatic with two main settings- "speed" and "power". There is a dial at the bottom of the grip that you gradually rotate and that allows you to customise your desired setting depending on how you like to play.


What it basically is doing is increasing the resistance that fires the dart and in turn that of the trigger- if you want more power, the trigger is really stiff to pull back but allows for your darts to fire further, whereas the speed setting is much softer but you sacrifice the power and hence full range available.


It's kind of fiddly to do, and after a while you just set it once and leave it alone. To be honest I found I just wanted to leave it on the "Power" setting and just deal with the ridiculously stiff trigger.


Speaking of the trigger, it's a totally unique system I've yet to see before- you can see in the picture above it's  in three parts that 'fold' into each other on the squeeze. With each pull, the trigger fires a dart and advances the barrel to the next chamber, with the dart leaving once the trigger has completely folded into the last piece.  This does away with a cocking mechanism, and on full trigger pull, you can really hear the very dense "thunk/click/boing" sound of the dart firing. Or maybe it's my finger snapping:P

Trigger is over double in length of ordinary trigger distance 
 While in theory this is an innovative idea, in practice it becomes ridiculously uncomfortable, especially if you're a small child or have small child hands such as my own. The trigger is much bigger than any other Nerf blaster and requires some effort to pull it all the way back; my index finger was fully extended and barely reached past between the trigger and trigger guard with my first joint. The firing mechanism requires the trigger to be completely pulled in (that's when it connects or 'snaps' for the dart to fire) so in a flurry of semi automatic firing madness, you can easily get caught out with a half assed pull:P

You can see my finger barely makes it around the trigger.
After a full 8 rounds fired, my finger wasn't very happy with me, and after reloading it several times, my hand in general basically told me where to go:P A friend of mine with very small girlie hands (being a girl) couldn't fire the Snapfire 8 on Power mode with one hand- she needed both and she basically handed it back to me and said 'I don't like it'. This is definitely NOT an ergonomically friendly blaster, and dual wielding them, while technically possible is not going to feel fun in your weaker hand. I'm sure with enough practice and training it'll be fine, but for me thus far..i'm with my friend on this one- it wasn't comfortable.

Pulling the trigger isn't at all comfortable and cuts into your finger
 Performances are a mixed bag- I had better results with the Elite darts than with the actual Dart Tag darts, but I found the ranges weren't very impressive at all with dart tag darts, being more reminiscent of Dart Tag pre blue trigger enhancements. That being said, I was pretty happy with it using Elite darts?

The difference between the speed and power settings was noticeable but wasn't THAT great in performances (but quite a bit in ergonomics) and I also found it quite inconsistent- sometimes you'd get a great shot out and others a tad more on the dribble side. The new improved Sharpshot  better ranges from my test shots done to date. Because of the trigger mechanism is so stiff and requires it to be completely pulled to fire, you won't be able to pump out darts as rapid as a Barricade or Hailfire.
All the way depressed. You can see how much grip is left for small hands.
 I really wanted to like the Snapfire 8; it has definitely been on many people's watch lists (including my own) since it was announced but I just found it rather disappointing The speed/power thing was a bit of a gimmick in my book, and the general firing mechanism was just too uncomfortable (which is sad because the blaster as a whole fits great in the hand when you DON'T need the trigger!) for it to be a truly awesome pistol.

It's design makes it difficult to pocket or holster, and while I wanted to think I'd be dual wielding these pups in full John Woo style, in the end the erratic performances and awkwardness of the firing mechanism just left me thinking no- long time play makes my index fingers feel like they've been sawn in two. It's a novel idea and as always, if you can get one for cheap, sure do it, but I'm not sure it's going to be a game changer any time soon. I don't hate it; I just think it wasn't quite what I was expecting and perhaps my expectations were too high- happy to hear your thoughts on it if you've got one.


From what I know, only available in Singapore atm, and with shipping cost me around 40 bucks each so probably not quite worth it. I'd be waiting for a domestic release where it should be much cheaper.


29 comments:

  1. Made for people with large hands. My friend had the bright idea to fire it with his middle finder, makes it much more comfortable for him as he has smallish hands. Me? I could probably put it on power and dual wield it with my huge hands.

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  2. Excellent review, Pocket. Can't wait for these things to arrive stateside.

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  3. How light is it compared to the Speedswarm? Is it better?

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  4. Hi,
    as of monday it is also available in Germany, but as far as I know exclusively at "real" our equivalent of WalMart (Link below).

    Just received it today and have the same feeling about the trigger - just awkward.

    By the way, your site rocks!


    (http://www.real-onlineshop.de/realstore/Dart-Tag-Snapfire-8/0809191001002/P/SW000000_SW280000_SW281000/1)

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  5. this is a very different review of what sgnerf gave us, why do you think that is? maybe you have smaller hands?

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    1. I don't want to say its because Nerf sent it to SGNerf, but its probably because Nerf sent it to SGNerf ;-)

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    2. i don't know what you mean by nerf sent it to SGnerf, he found it at a store for the same price as a speedload 6?

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    3. Neil (Dart Tag Oz),

      Just to clarify, i did not get my sets from Nerf or Hasbro, i bought them at my own cost.

      Btw, my review just describes the blaster features for reference and i leave it to readers to make their own decisions.

      But i do have to agree with Pocket that the Snapfire 8 would tend to be uncomfortable for those with smaller hands. My hands are probably slightly larger so i personally didn't find any issues using it... which perhaps explains the difference in user experience.

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  6. I'm going to mod it so you can use your entire hand to pull the trigger, not just your index finger.

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea bro! If i get one I'm definetly doing that.

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  7. I own one of these snapfires after replacing my Maverick as a sidearm, so I'll share from personal experience:

    Because it's semi-auto, it was a good replacement because it allowed me to perform other tasks one-handed, but there's always the issue of trigger pull, especially when it's not powered by anything else. Just give it a few days and you'll get used to it.

    On the other hand, I was disappointed by the accuracy. Not that I'm expecting nerf to produce match-grade blasters, but the shots went really wide.

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  8. I have a Snapfire 8 with me, I actually love it a lot, after some time my finger got used to the power mode and now pulling the trigger back is a breeze! :3

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  9. We had high hopes for the Snapfire up here in Sydney. It fits in really nicely with a couple of the game types we play. Hopefully your hands don't have to be GINORMOUS to use it without too much discomfort.

    Anyway, thanks for the review Pocket!
    - Formerly malee_necromancer

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  10. Hi guys, do u know, if there is already a release date for this one?

    best regards!

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  11. I'm looking forward to getting a couple of these - I've got middle-sized hands with fairly strong finger muscles, so it shouldn't be a problem for me. Dual wielding these in some custom-made holsters will compliment my Swarmfire nicely :D (when it runs out of darts and don't have time to reload in the middle of battle lol!)

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  12. This is a nice gun although I don't have large hands but I can fire it with one hand with the ROF same to a Barricade. I don't have a problem using it.
    Also, I saw it in HK.

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  13. It's hilarious how UT have almost thrown down the challenge to everyone about the Snapfire regarding the stiff trigger so now everyone has to act like they've got really strong... fingers... and talk themselves up like they've got no problem with it. It's not about whether or not you can pull the trigger or not, it's how comfortable it is in the long run, and I agree that it's really bad. If the Snapfire shot remarkable distances, I'd think it was worth the discomfort, but it doesn't. Nice review UT!

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  14. It's been out in Malaysia around the 2nd week of July. Hard trigger, acceptable ranges. But what annoys me, sometimes when the barrel rotates, it won't align correctly with the end of the plunger tube. If that happens, I get sucky ranges of less than 1 meter.

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  15. I like it a lot. But for better aim and comfort, I chose to let it in Speed Mode. Most shots go off-target, because that last piece of strength required to fire makes the blaster move to the right. If you rebarrel and take out the AR, it'll get the same distances (and a bit more) in Speed Mode as it did in Stock Power Mode.

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  16. So I assume that it is safe to say that this gun is an outstanding yet uncomfortable gun overall, that is meant for people with big hands?
    Modding wise, I think a PETG rebarrel, accompanied by Psych's AR mods, magnetic holster mod, and modding the trigger to shoot it by grabbing with your entire hand could fix the distance, comfortability, and holstering problems, which in turn would turn this into a truly remarkable plaster.

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  17. It;s now in Aussie Targets!!! :) Yay! Pyragon's out too but is ridiculously expensive.

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    1. Yeah I know :) still no elite though but stuff it, they're gonna be downgraded anyway.

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  18. I wonder if my hands are big enough. I use the second segment of my index finger to comfortably hold a Maverick Rev-6. can anyone please tell me?

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  19. Any ideas on when (or if) this will be released in Adelaide? The Pyragon's here-i have it-but no Snapfire yet.

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  20. My hands are fairly large, so this is going on my buy list.

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  21. I feared buying it due to this review... but it was only 13 bucks so I thought I might as well give it a go.

    It's not too bad, though some of my old darts just fall off it (not the blaster's fault though). Overall I think it's brilliant, dual wielding will be inaccurate but fun. Though with only one unit I'd rather use both of my hands for accuracy's sake

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  22. one way to help users with small hands is to use two fingers on the trigger, the middle finger and the index finger. It makes it a lot easier to pull :)

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